Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies #GalentinesDay

These rich, Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. Or serve them up to your gal pals and celebrate Galentine’s Day!

Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies | Fudgy brownies glazed with more chocolate!

My Inspiration

Today I’m celebrating Galentine’s Day, a marvelous faux holiday. This day is all about celebrating, supporting, and encouraging the ladies in your life. Thanks to my blogger friends, Courtney of NeighborFood and Nancy of Gotta Get Baked, for organizing this group of terrific women to honor all our gal pals. Today is usually set aside for a French Fridays with Dorie post. But instead, I’m here to honor my dear mom. She’s been in a memory unit for a number of years, and my dad joined her about a year and a half ago. She’d been plugging along, content and healthy for the most part. My dad spends his free time sitting with her, rubbing her head and just plain adoring her. But last week she had a stroke….and the end is near. My father, who has worshipped his wife of 55+ years, is devastated and on Wednesday, I flew out to be with them and my sister, Maddy.

Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies | Fudgy brownies glazed with more chocolate!


Chic and Talented

A gifted artist and musician, my mother filled our home with the sonatas of Bach and covered our walls with paintings and other treasures from friends and family. She loved the clean lines of Danish modern and shied away from anything fussy or froufrou. A fashionista at heart, she combed the sales racks for designer deals and shared the couture gems she’d unearth at the famous Aspen thrift shop with her girlfriends. My mom took comfort in cooking and dazzled our family with recipes from the New York Times Cookbook as well as handwritten recipe cards from her bridge club friends. Spiritual and prayerful, she attended daily Mass, would pull out her rosary when needed (like when bears walked through our campsite at Glacier National Park!) and opened our home to those who needed a meal over the holidays. Gretchen adored her children and grandchildren and often rocked my colicky babies so I could catch a few winks. She lived a long fruitful life, full of loyal friends, a loving family, laughter and song. A life lived to the fullest. Should we all be so lucky.

Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies | Fudgy brownies glazed with more chocolate!

A Sweet for my Mom

My mom liked just a little nibble of something sweet after dinner. We always had a bowl of candied nuts or chocolate bonbons on the kitchen counter. Just  a little a bite or two with a cup of coffee would satisfy her sweet tooth. You can see from whom I inherited this trait! She’d often eat a sliver of pumpkin pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. So if I could, I would share these Ganache Topped Chocolate Brownies with her.

Memories of a Life Well Lived

3 sisters with parents

Busy with three squirmy children…Mary, Katie and me

Mom and sisters

With our new pup, Rufus, and her four daughters…Maddy has joined the family

Mom and Rufus

A beauty, inside and out…


Working on her calligraphy…

Cheers, dear Gretchen!

Mom and Martha

With her dearest friend, her sister, Martha…in Italy, Russia or Turkey…

Mom and dad 2015

Snuggling with her true love, my dad…a week before her stroke.

More Galentine’s Day Recipes:

Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies #GalentinesDay
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A rich, decadent brownie recipe perfect for any occasion. Adapted from a Dan Smith and Stew McDonagh recipe
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 8-inch cake pan. Line with parchment and grease top of parchment. Or line the pan with non-stick foil. Set aside.
  2. Beat eggs and salt together with hand held electric mixer till frothy. Add sugar and beat till thick and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat till combined.
  3. Microwave butter and chocolate for about a minute. Stir and microwave in 15-30 second increments till chocolate is melted and smooth. With mixer running, slowly add melted chocolate to egg mixture. Add flour and beat till just incorporated, less than a minute. Scrape down sides as necessary.
  4. Bake 20 minutes till the center is barely set. Remove from oven and cool on rack. Make ganache.
  5. Melt chocolate and cream in microwave, about one minute on high. Stir till smooth and chips are completely melted. Pour on cooled brownies. Let chill in fridge.
  6. Before serving, place brownies in the freezer for at least 30 minutes for easier cutting. Let slices come to room temperature before serving.


  1. What a sweet post! These brownies look perfect for a valentine’s celebration 🙂

  2. A sweet and very touching post, Liz. I love how you garnish the brownies…simple and chic!

  3. So sorry about your mom..but this post is so full of love and really great celebration of the best memories.. Hugs, Liz.

  4. Oh how beautiful Liz thank you so much for sharing this and I pray for your comfort and peace.

  5. Oh, Liz, how beautifully you have shared your mother with us all. You resemble her in beauty, artistic talent, and the ways you have of making everyone feel loved and welcome. The brownies today are gorgeously presented…a bit like those elegant simple finds that your mother would hunt for to grace her life. xo

  6. Liz, this is so beautiful. I’m so glad you were able to join in today and share such a touching post about your mom. She was a gorgeous lady–what a treasure of memories you have from her. Sending you hugs and prayers as you navigate this journey.

  7. Oh Liz, this is such an incredibly sweet and touching post that brought tears to my eyes. Thinking of you and your family and sending you lots of hugs and prayers. xo

  8. It goes without saying that your ganache topped truffle brownies are amazing, but beyond that the tribute you wrote about your mom is so much more! I’ve always loved seeing that photo of your mom with the champagne glass in her hand, and have always imagined her as a Julia Child type personality. Bigger than life and full of spunk. From what you’ve written, I see I’m not too far off. How blessed you’ve been to have such a figure in your life, Liz. Someone who has shaped you so lovingly into who you are. I wish your mom well and it warms my heart to know how much your dad is there to care for her. I’m in a similar situation with my parents right now and it’s so hard. Thank God they have each other and the closeness of their children.

  9. Such a beautiful tribute. You were blessed with a wonderful mother. Saying a prayer for you during this time.

  10. Ganache and brownies – two of my favorite things! Happy Galentine’s Day!

  11. What a lovely tribute to your beautiful mother. I’m so sorry she suffered a stroke. The brownies are elegant, decadent, and perfect!

  12. Mary Hirsch says:

    Oh, dear Liz, this is beautiful and, of course, brought tears. While I didn’t know your Mom and Dad personally when we lived in Ames, I knew “of” your Mom and Dad. My daughter, Melissa, and your Youngest sister, Maddy, (knew you would like the youngest plug, Maddy) were classmates so we did pass in the same circles. Your Dad’s esteemed academic reputation at Iowa State always followed him, I will say. I do have to think your Mom’s greatest joy was the pride she has always had in her Girls – you all are All-Stars, that’s for sure. I probably know more about Maddy’s highschool antics than you do. I insisted that Missy spill the beans over two glasses of wine, one night! Way to go, Maddy. As I’ve told you, I am thinking of you, your parents and Maddy every day. I am glad you went to Denver to lend support and love, Liz. I’m sending a little extra love your way right now. Mary

  13. Liz, I am in tears right now reading this post. . your beautiful mother. . I am praying for her, your father and you and your family. . thank you for sharing this post with us and loved all the photos .. so so touching, Liz! Beautiful!!!

  14. What a sweet post Liz ! Love your galantine’s day and the way you talk about your mother ! Very nice indeed.
    Have a lovely galantine’s day and Valentine’s day 🙂

  15. Tears. What a beautiful tribute to a clearly wonderful woman – and man (your dad).

  16. As I sit hear reading your post the tears just started flowing. It’s so difficult watching as our parents age and become frail. It reminds me so much of the book Love You Forever. If you haven’t read it you should, it’s actually a very short children’s book and spot on as to what life has in store for us.

    My mom is 93 and in good health, while my dad passed away at age 69. My husbands parents are in their late 80s with a step dad that’s 101. Need I say more.

    Family is everything for me and gives each of us a purpose in life.

    This post shows a true testament of the love you have for your mom and dad and all the wonderful memories you will always have to cherish.

    As for the dessert it’s beautiful and cut to perfection as you always are able to do.

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your past. Best wishes to you and your family during this difficult time.

  17. Mary Hirsch says:

    BTW, Liz. Can we not publicize the thrift shop in Aspen? I have to know your Mom found fabulous clothes there but now it’s my go-to for scoring designer clothes. Let’s just keep that hush-hush. Between friends.

  18. A wonderful post. This dessert serves the occasion well!

  19. Thanks for celebrating a wonderful lady in your life – the true purpose of Galentine’s Day. Your mom seems like she has lived an amazing life and I’m so glad she has her family with her now. Sending thoughts of comfort to you and your family during this time.

  20. OMG, Liz, this is the first Galentine’s post I’m reading this morning and I’m crying. This is such an amazing tribute to your dear, wonderful, beautiful mom. Indeed, she’s lived a wonderful life, surrounded by love and laughter. The photo of your mom and dad snuggling the week before her stroke is beautiful, a true testament of their relationship. She would love this post, Liz, I know she would. You look just like her and I’m sure you also inherited all of her wonderful traits. I’m thinking of you and your family in this difficult time. xoxo

  21. Cheers to your beautiful mama! This sounds so decadent, brownies and ganache – so amazing.

  22. I LOVE your mom! I hope she finds peace, and you also.

  23. That last picture melted my heart – wow – what a love your parents shared and what a lovely life – this is such a sweet post, Liz. Sending hugs y’alls way.
    Btw – this chocolate truffle brownie with chocolate ganache looks incredible!

  24. Liz, a beautiful tribute to your Mom. My heart goes out to you and your family. Ro

  25. What a touching post. It brought tears to my eyes. Your comment about how she liked “just a nibble of something sweet” reminded me how my grandmother was just the opposite — if you handed her “just a nibble,” she’d look at it, then at you, and ask you where the rest was! So your post also made me smile. Your brownies look absolutely divine.

  26. What a wonderful tribute to your mom. I am certain she would have loved this gorgeous dessert that you made.

  27. Liz, this is a very touching emotional post and a great tribute to your mother and father also. They sound like a great loving couple who enjoyed their lives thoroughly. Here’s wishing the best for you all. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  28. Oh dear Liz…Your sweet tribute is so heartfelt and gorgeous…Trying to hold back the tears. But I do see you are walking in her footsteps and are gorgeously talented…How wonderful to have such a treasure box of memories such as rosary beads rubbing at the appearance of bears…Please take good care of you <3 Of course, your dessert is one that would make your angel mommy proud <3

  29. so beautifully and lovingly written hugs to you

  30. Liz, that’s a beautiful story of your mom and how I adore her. Sending you big hugs and prayers your way. And this ganache brownies is none to compare. Absolutely beautiful!

  31. This is just an amazing post, Liz. This tribute really makes me feel like I’ve grown to know and love your mum too–thanks so much for sharing this on a day that really reminds us of what it means to be a strong woman. I just know she would have loved this recipe of yours! And I just can’t stop looking at your old photos 🙂

  32. Oh, Liz. This was a beautiful post. I am so, so sorry to hear about your mom. Sending lots of hugs and warm thoughts your way.

  33. What a sweet tribute to your mom! Thinking of you and your family.

  34. Liz,
    What a beautiful tribute for your Mom. Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way

  35. Liz,
    Such a beautiful tribute to your Mom. Sending prayers and hugs your way!

  36. well I am brushing a little tear from my eye, I am so sorry for this hard time your family is going through. A beautiful post for an amazing woman. Keeping you in my thoughts. And what a cake. I am having I guess a Galentine’s Day cocktail party tomorrow night, we’ll toast to your mom.

  37. Dear Lizzy! I want you to know that you are in my heart and prayers! What a beautiful tribute to your loving mom! She is such a light in your life and I can see that her many talents have been also gifted to you! The relationship of your parents reminds me so much of mine. They were together always, until the end. Your parents are a solid rock; a great example to you; and a treasure buried deep within your heart and soul. May God give you all the strength you need to press on during this time and beyond. May His warm embrace be felt by you and by your precious mother as He promises never to leave us nor forsake us! My love to you, Liz, and my prayers to you all!

  38. a truly lovely post, Liz. Take care of yourself and your family. What a lovely thing to be able to spend all this time together. Enjoy every minute!

  39. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I’m so sorry to hear she is in failing health. I know it isn’t easy. Big hugs.

  40. Liz, I see so much of you in your mom. She had quite a spark. She looks like such a thoughtful intelligent woman… thank you for sharing her with us… my thoughts and prays are with you and your family.

  41. This post is very touching. You have been in my thoughts all week. Wishing you all peace and comfort.

  42. What a beautiful tribute to your mom; she sounds like the kind of woman we would all aspire to be like!

  43. Galentines Day – what a fab idea, and these gorgeous brownies are the perfect way to celebrate. So sorry to hear about your Mim – she sounds like a wonderful woman. Hugs to you and your family at this difficult time.

  44. I’m so very sorry about your mom, Liz. Big hugs for you and your family!

  45. A beautiful dessert, to go with such a beautiful, and touching tribute, Liz.

  46. What a beautiful tribute, Liz. I’m so glad you can be there with your family now. Thinking of you.

  47. Oh Liz, what a touching and sweet tribute to your mom. Praying for you and your family during this difficult time!

  48. Teary eyed as I am after reading this, a life well lived full of love is really all that matters, isn’t it? This tribute to your mom is so heartfelt and sweet; to have such a mom as your role model is one of your lucky dealings in life my friend. All my love to you and your family Liz.

  49. I am in tears. We should all be so blessed indeed. What a beautiful tribute to a lovely, talented, loving lady, Liz. May her final days be filled with peace, surrounded by her devoted family.

  50. What a lovely tribute to the wonderful woman who helped shape you into the wonderful woman you are. Much love and well wishes (and a little something sweet) to you and your family, Liz! xoxo

  51. I cried all through this post but they were tears of joy. What a wonderful role model for her children and yours. This nasty dementia business is just horrible and ruins what should have been fun times to the end. Your father is to be truly admired for sticking with her through the tough times. This post is a lovely tribute to your parents. Hugs from me during this really tough time. Now can I have a brownie?

  52. Liz, this is such a beautiful dedication to your beautiful, kind, talented and loving mother. I wish that I had known her when living in Ames. I think that so much of her is also within you! My mom and I were talking about her last night and we have been keeping all of you in our continual prayers. If you need someone to lean on, you’ve got a friend. We love you!
    Roz (and Retha, my mother)

  53. Oh Liz, what a lovely tribute. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. We lost my father-in-law just two weeks ago now, it’s still hard to believe. We’re thinking about you and your family, sending you lots of prayers and good vibes.

  54. I finally received mail for this post 🙂 And what a post…..!!
    The cake looks scrumptious, but the post itself is soooooo moving.
    I lost my Mom in a young age (a few years ago) and it’s still very very hard
    The best thing is to celebrate her life – and you did it here!!

  55. Lizzy,
    So sorry to hear about your Mom. It’s clear that you love her dearly. She’s lucky to have your Dad still with her. My Dad passed 11 years, 11 months ago and my Mom misses him every day. She’s getting older and it’s more difficult for her to get around so I worry. I don’t have any wise words except to say that your memories with your Mom will last forever.
    Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m thinking of you. xo

  56. What a beautiful tribute to your mom, the woman who helped shape you. Beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing it and photos of her. I’m sure she would have loved a sliver of these truffle brownies.Or perhaps a whole piece.

  57. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom, Liz. She sounds like an incredible woman. Hang in there.

  58. Dear Liz, what a lovely tribute to your mom Gretchen. I will be keeping you, your parents, and the rest of your family in my thoughts. I’m sure you know that our mothers are part of us, they’ve been instrumental in who we are, so you are and your sisters are a living and loving tribute to your mother. Take good care.

  59. Aw Lizzy Im sorrow by you, your dad and of course your mom
    What wonderful and sweet post dear Lizzy.
    All my love and prayers especially in this time.

  60. I really enjoyed reading about your mom, Liz. She sounds like one classy lady. I’m so sorry.

  61. So sad! Sorry to hear about your mom and wishing you and your family nothing but happiness!

  62. TheKitchenLioness says:

    Dear Liz, what a touching and heart-warming tribute to your mother – she sounds like a very special person and so does your father1 Wishing you strength and sending lots of love your way – while I realize that it is pretty far away, it is certainly coming from the heart! Your post stirred up a lot of emotins – my dad passed away from Alzheimer two years ago and one of our girls is named Gretchen..
    And your brownies look incredibly elegant, so pretty on that platter and so perfect for many a celebration!
    All the very best, dear friend, if there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to let me know (I know I am far away but the post office isn´t…)
    Liebe Grüsse,

  63. What a beautiful, inspiring post. Love it- the sentiments, the memories and the photos. And yes, that gorgeous ganache too. Well done, Liz. Sending warm thoughts to you and your family ~

  64. Such a lovely, sweet tribute to your beautiful mom, Liz. Loved the memories and photos you shared. I see so much of your mother in you. I’ll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs.

  65. Oh Liz tears in my eyes. What a lovely tribute to your Mom. I know she has since passed and I wish you and your family peace. Take care.

  66. What a beautiful and heart warming tribute to your mom Liz. So sorry for your loss, but I know her beautiful memories will live on with you. Thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

  67. Oh man…Liz. I’m holding back tears. This is such a beautiful tribute to your mom (who sounds like SUCH an amazing person!) and her and your dad are just so incredibly sweet and heart warming. True love <3

    and I know she'd love these brownies because who wouldn't? They're so chocolatey and perfect!

  68. Liz, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. It’s easy to see she was an incredible woman in this post and in you. This was a beautiful tribute and of yes, we should all be so lucky to live such a full life! The photo of your parents is a treasure. Thank you for sharing, friend. Keeping you and your family in my prayers. xx

  69. Love seeing the old photos of you family! This cake is really a chocolate lover dream!

  70. Holly N @ Spend With Pennies says:

    What a lovely post, thank you for sharing your wonderful Mom with us!

    Your cake looks lovely and I’m a sucker for anything with ganache!!

  71. What a sweet tribute to your Mom. She sounds like such a lovely woman!

  72. I am a huge chocolate fan, and go weak in the knees for a killer brownie. You took it to a heavenly level by adding ganache. Great recipe!

  73. This is the sweetest post! Your mom is adorable and I love that you made these with her in mind. Wish I could share a sweet treat with my mama right now too.

  74. Your post made me cry. What a lovely post Liz. I know this was done last year but I am sorry for your loss and hope you feel it a little less nearly a year later.

  75. Really nice post:) The Brownies look amazing, too!

  76. Quick Quality Post says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a lovely, talented, loving lady, Liz. May her final days be filled with peace, surrounded by her devoted family.


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